Wireless Foot Controller

Soulpedal® is an insole that you slip into your shoe to control stuff. Today, foot pressure controls a very Custom Wah-Wah Effects Pedal, and can send MIDI out or even I2C data that can stream foot motion/pressure data to Arduino for personal fun. Motion sensors in the Pedal provide basic level gesture recognition for On/Off control on stage… Anywhere on Stage! This Patented product is a cross between passion for learning new technologies, and Music. The plan is to complete assembly of 15 units, and sell 10 this summer to Beta users. Should be fun, and stay tuned for progress updates.

TDK “Band” Loves SoulPedal®!

Posted by on 1:51 pm in Music News, SoulPedal, Uncategorized | 0 comments

TDK “Band” Loves SoulPedal®!

We just returned from the TDK Dev Conference in Silicon Valley (Sensor Technologies… yes, the same TDK that made audio tapes). It turns out that several TDK executive members, including CEO Jon Nelson, are also musicians. Apparently, there’s a TDK band, and they all loved SoulPedal®. In fact, it was Jon who introduced me to several TDK Directors and insisted I meet Rich Fry, Director ICT Sales who is now eager to engage as a SoulPedal® Beta Tester. Over the years, first impression to this technology have always been with amazement and awe – 100% of the time. Whether that translates to a sale or acceptance in the industry is only just starting to come into focus. It can’t be just cool or another wireless product; it’s got to add value. That’s exactly why SoulPedal® is being shared in a personal and custom way in our Beta Program. Playing devil’s advocate, there is obvious excitement among TDK staff because their technology is being applied in a brand new way to something they love to do for fun. So I asked Rich “Are you excited because it’s using TDK’s motion technology, or do you believe SoulPedal® is something you’d buy, and why?” His answer was both candid and encouraging. “Yes (to the TDK), but often in our band we are pointed to without warning when it’s our turn to solo. That’s hard to do if you’re not quite ready and right in front of your pedals.” He went on to say that “…given the fast change-over times between band line-ups, it would be great to have a faster setup.” So Change-over Time may not be just a Manufacturing indicator, and not having to run cables round “trip” from the amp to the pedals and back does add value (pun intended). The photo isn’t my actual setup, it’s just a teaser to get people thinking simplicity and ease of use. But I wouldn’t put it past someone duct-taping SoulPedal® to their rig to just throw on stage in a hurry. Initial, we’re not replacing your sacred pedal board, it’s an enhancement and a new feel for now, but that Wah pedal may have a finite life. I really can’t wait to see what people think of the variable taper for starters. Aside from the TDK Band buzz, the meeting with motion experts yielded some great tips that will directly translate to a better product. In fact, positional accuracy (in a multi-pedal configuration) could maintain around 3 mm accuracy over a 1 foot distance using our existing Beta design (which is actually using older technology). They already do this in the medical industry, he explained, where positional tracking is critical. Overall, Gyro and sensor accuracy is rapidly improving. So lucky us, motion sensor improvements are a given and the costs are dropping further. Another valuable part of this visit was getting feedback on our high-level software approach. Good news is that we’re on the right path and only minor changes are needed to dial this in. I’d love to share more, but this is getting a bit too exciting to just give away all the goodies. It is likely competitors are watching so I’m told, including Nike. If you are interested in becoming a Beta Tester in the Phoenix area, contact John@SoulPedal.com to...

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Two Pedals – Live

Posted by on 7:45 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Two Pedals – Live

MIDI Controllers are a bit more interesting than I thought. Songwriter Kody Raine decides he wants to control his Boss DD-500 to command some echo/delay at key points in his own song – on demand. I always thought who better to time an effect than the musician real-time. So this Sunday during Open Mike at Bourbon Jacks in Chandler, we’re going to try out SoulPedal® MIDI, and SoulPedal® Wah on different channels, separate musicians. Guitarist Ron Daughton is pretty excited to try it out in his pedal board, replacing his existing Cry-baby. And who knows, I might give it a shot myself. Here’s Kody using SoulPedal® to MIDI control his DAW then into an MS-2000 Analog Korg. (That’s a whole other world.) Stay tuned,...

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Meet our 1st Beta Tester

Posted by on 5:03 pm in SoulPedal | 0 comments

Meet our 1st Beta Tester

Meet Kody Raine, local career musician, awesome vocalist, and our first Beta Tester. His focus is on the SoulPedal® MIDI controller with his current rig for an enhanced live performance. Our meeting was just a chance encounter at Good Time Charlies after his duo performance with Ethan Newman on Bass. Although SoulPedal® wasn’t quite ready for Beta testing (and you wouldn’t be the first to wonder if or when that would ever happen), discovering use cases just became priority well worth completing the MIDI portion ASAP, then accept $299 for Beta Membership¹ when the full product is ready. It’s one thing to get input on user forums to say “ya gotta have MIDI”, but to collaborate and explore technology as part of a live performance, and get paid, that’s got some real jazz! It was refreshing to hear his view of benefits and uses… the simplest things like “I could be looking up in the air with eyes closed jammin’ away, and engage SoulPedal® without ever having to look for my pedal.” It’s so cool to hear other creative types jump in. Kody currently has his Laptop DAW, MIDI Interface, Delay Pedal, Synth, and Drum Machine all connected up preparing for this integration. We also discussed using our toe-tap method for setting the tempo, so lots to explore there as well. Or maybe just a live drum kick might be useful- essentially the MIDI artform to explore. ¹ Beta Membership is defined as a collaborative group of 10 users who agree to pay $199 to test the Insole Pedal and MIDI, (plus an optional $99 to experience the Wah/Vol-Drive/Ext Expression Controller), to help further both the artist’s performance and SoulPedal® Technology Development (SPTD). The musician keeps the tested technology at no additional charge. The Wah portion will be available when … you know. (Just need to breadboard the new buffer section to get the right Drive clipping sound using parts in-house, then complete the PCB layout to build 10 Beta...

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Controlling a Boss DD-7 Delay Pedal

Posted by on 12:44 am in Music News, Pedals, SoulPedal | 0 comments

Controlling a Boss DD-7 Delay Pedal

I don’t know why we didn’t think of this sooner… Here’s a hack that emulates an EV-5 Roland Expression Pedal. Just needs a stereo jack output that connects right up to any Boss Expression Input (or Roland product of course). Not only that, but our controller already has a minimum level adjustment like the EV-5. We might want to figure out a simple way to set and hold the pedal, and have previously tested using a quick twist of the foot (using the Z-gyro sensor in the pedal)… add that to the code To-Do list. Shown is a close up of the wire I soldered to a tiny BROKEN lead off the Digital Pot… as in no lead, just a stub! Obviously it would be a clean connection off the second channel of the chip, but I can’t believe it stayed long enough to test this (why all the tape to hold it). The first channel of course controls the Wah effect. And I might either put in some jumpers to let this be a volume swell, or just create a separate box to simply patch through the audio as a volume...

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New Response is Awesome!

Posted by on 1:04 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

New Response is Awesome!

I’m done tweaking the code for now because I really, really like it! Now it’s on to the Audio PCB revisions (getting rid of all the hacks in the photo, and there are a bunch). Same circuit below as my prior post, just stuffed inside for demo purposes. What’s new is I’ve added an adjustable taper to the response that goes from its native slightly negative curve, through flat response, and all the way to a nice taper that eases in. Control has never felt this good.   Based on User Testing at Guitar Center recently, a smooth taper is important because most people who are unfamiliar with pedal “control” tend to press Full-On at first; so this is like a junior setting until they feel more daring and want a quicker feel. However, if you want to lean into your pedal on stage for a better show out there in the crowd, smooth/heavy is exactly what you’ll want. The goal is more clear now. It’s a Wah/MIDI controller (and a basic MIDI Controller at that). Sorry, no Arduino, no data out. Expansion  is possible (after this gets going) because control is on an addressable bus via a simple stereo jack – so three more effects are possible using this same technology… as is. Stay tuned if you want one of just 10 units being built this summer. I’ll let you know when the boards are on order, then back to code. Target is $200-$300 to be a Beta Tester, then you keep the pedal for free....

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Fast, Smooth, and Quiet – SoulPedal

Posted by on 3:09 pm in Pedals, SoulPedal | 0 comments

Fast, Smooth, and Quiet – SoulPedal

Is it possible to fall in love with a circuit? I did! Smoother: Opto-Isolator LED is now controlled by Current not Voltage (duh). Naturally responsive now. Quicker: No LED turn-on time (biased on both ends to exactly match LED useful range). Force Sensor in the pedal was selected – Easily replaceable, and High Z for even better battery life. Eliminated Digital Noise feeding back into the DC supply (was OK before but needed isolated supplies). Take a close look at that Wah board. That’s the one I’ve been tweaking the past month and planning to replace very soon. (The controller is still good with 15 built to 75%, and the Pedal PCB is OK but the insole design in your shoe will change.) The analog components are nostalgic using Panasonic Caps and a Red Fasel coil from Italy for that original sound. Right in the center is your automated DPDT switch. That’s what kicks in/out the effect (so to speak) for True Bypass. I used a COTO Reed Relay and I’ve never ever had one wear or degrade on me (sealed switch in an inert gas). Upper left corner are all the caps for the overall tone range. Thanks to Anderton articles on DIYstompBoxes.com, A. G. Keen, and Geofex.com for getting me up to speed over the years. I have no idea who you are, but thanks! I’m sure some of your parts are in these first units. Truth is, I’m finishing 15 units that were on hold for 2 yrs. If you saw Silicon Valley this week, well… I’m Richard. I’m targeting some Beta Testers this summer, 2018. I may never build any more of this design and it will be a while before the Bluetooth version would be even started, but that’s the plan. My partner is still waiting for cash-flow. That’s not the goal anymore (taken from the Musk playbook). I’m not advertising, but you might see me soon at a Guitar Center. I’ll try to get that on video. Oh, and besides MIDI out and Data Out (for Arduino), if all goes well I’ll add Expression Out. That’s a tricky one so I might just give you 3 wires and a guide. It’ll be a 10K pot controlled in parallel with the Wah, used to control your own Wah circuit or your best Stage Show thingy. I’ve always imagined Slash controlling his Wah AND a giant puppet of himself grooving in unison. I’ll get there, watch. I’ve had the vision ever since I saw Fergie and Slash stuck in one spot on stage (Superbowl halftime years ago). Everyone was dancing all around him, but he was stuck to his pedal – couldn’t run out and connect with the crown or nothin! Poor guy. Call if interested – John at 480-229-5940....

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Look, No Cables!

Posted by on 10:44 am in Pedals | 0 comments

Look, No Cables!

Since not everyone lives in Sandals like myself, I thought I’d pick up a pair a Chuck Taylor All Stars for a SoulPedal(R) test drive. Look, no Cables! (Referring to the experiment at Converse a few years back with a Wah.) I went for Size 11 US as I’m about a 10.5 US and I wanted some room in case (truth is, they were on sale at Ross for $29). At first, I didn’t like being able to feel the edge of my pedal under the toes so I pulled off the neoprene cover and cut out a full size for replacement. Way better, and my brother also found it comfy. There’s a lot to resolve here still, but getting there. During the fun, careful inspection of the pressure sensor showed no visible signs of wear, but I’m not tracking the ohms Ω/gram data over time… shear is a killer there. Good news is that the flex portion of the pressure sensor isn’t failing like before. I lowered the path more toward Center-line of the bend action. (Maybe...

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Can you believe I’m going to try again?

Posted by on 4:45 am in Pedals, SoulPedal | 0 comments

Can you believe I’m going to try again?

Hope to dust off the old pedal and demo at the STEM http://www.southwestmakerfest.com in a couple weeks. Got some new flex cables today, so was able to load new code again. Gotta get the basic Wah working for now. Gyro calibration is tricky… they gyrate no matter what. Stay tuned...

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Variable Tapered Pot?

Posted by on 7:41 pm in Maker, SoulPedal | 0 comments

Variable Tapered Pot?

It’s no secret we’re digitally controlling a fully analog Wah (complete with a J201 driven output boost/buffer) from within your shoe, but here’s something really new. A digital pot typically has 2 channels, so why not put the 2nd one in parallel (off the 1st tap) with the one that controls the LDR, right? This allows for a user adjustable taper (curve response of the pedal) so you decide the “feel” with the turn of a knob (along with a second knob for sensitivity related to foot pressure). Come check it out at the Tempe Guitar Show March 7th and take one home for the first time ever....

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Under the Hood

Posted by on 11:13 pm in Maker, SoulPedal | 0 comments

Under the Hood

This is our 3rd prototype (underside) used at last years show in Tempe (a bit outdated actually). It slips in your shoe and runs off a CR-2032 battery in a drawer. Since last year’s show, we’ve added more advanced motion technology (a 9250 by Invensense, same as in Drones) to track foot motion. And if you thought that just a Wah-wah pedal was in the works, think again. We’ve successfully tested a 3 pedal simulation that sends 3 Program Changes out the MIDI port, but it’s still being refined. There is so much more possible with gestures, just wait! The receiver (shown in other photos and same size as conventional pedals) uses an internal antenna – so no stupid antennas sticking up, right? SoulPedal® is currently based on TI’s CC430 – an SoC + Radio in a single chip. The screws are there to allow for access to the port for software updates. We plan to provide a dongle so you can Flash load the latest updates. Range is 50 feet either direction – enough for Rock Concert sized Stages. The original prototype would go over 100 feet in all directions, so it’s only a matter of time… The entire pedal weighs only 3 oz in your shoe, including...

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Introducing Soul Pedal Blog

Posted by on 11:17 pm in Amps, Guitars, Music News, Pedals, SoulPedal | 2 comments

Introducing Soul Pedal Blog

We are gearing up to build wireless controllers as a comfortable insole for your shoe. Arduino compatible, includes MIDI and Effects Pedals! Come meet the team and experience Soul Pedal for yourself at the Tempe Guitar Show on March 22nd.  ...

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Demo at Tempe Guitar Show

Posted by on 6:38 pm in Music News, SoulPedal | 0 comments

Demo at Tempe Guitar Show

SoulPedal is such a paradigm shift that most just stared in awe… asking “Where’s the Wah?” Next question was “When and how much?” More info on Facebook/SoulPedal Read more about Tempe Guitar Show where 2,500 people saw the demo, and many tried...

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SoulPedal Response

Posted by on 12:08 am in SoulPedal | 0 comments

SoulPedal Response

This video shows foot pressure through the Data Out (a standard product feature). Accelerometer data is also available for the Hackers out there. Uses basic Arduino (interface) and Processing (visual display).

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Tempe Guitar Show

Posted by on 11:25 pm in SoulPedal | 0 comments

Tempe Guitar Show

We’ll have a booth at Tempe Guitar Show, on Saturday March 22. Come try it out and listen to a bunch of live music and other cool products.  

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SoulPedal Demo

Posted by on 12:20 am in SoulPedal | 0 comments

SoulPedal Demo

A wireless insole that controls effects for musicians (MIDI and Wah for now). Patent Pending. Visit Cleanstage.com for more info as we prepare to launch this product on KickStarter soon!

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